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killed in tuesday's attack in benghazi, libya. meantime angry protests spread today throughout the muslim world including jerusalem and the west bank along gaza. u.n. peacekeepers were also attacked by protesters. no casualties reported. in tunisia protesters stormed the u.s. embassy setting fires and battling with tunisian security forces. two people were killed. another 29 injured. in all protests broke out today in at least 17 nations from north africa across the middle east to indonesia. all the demonstrators voicing outrage against that film made in the united states that ridicules the prophet mohammed. nbc's jim maceda is in that country. we hope to have him join us later. joining me now, andrea mitchell, most of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea i'll start off with you. the ceremony you were talking about when bodies were returned after the attacks on the embassy in 1998 you were there. this is something that many people in my generation never witnessed and never seen in our lifetimes. an ambassador his remains and those of his colleagues brought back in this country. >> it is the
at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, in the last 24 hours, at times like this, frankly all of any president's public appearances have a higher than normal potential to make real news. so we are going to be monitoring the president's campaign speech, and if he makes comments about the protests in libya, we will bring that to you. the president just sat down with an interview with jose diaz balart, the host of telemundo on our sister network. excerpts of this interview are going to air on telemundo tomorrow morning and also ton their nightly news show jose diaz balart at 6:30 p.m. but what we've got right now is exclusive. with you're about to see here has not been seen anywhere until now. this is the president of the united states, giving his first extended response to questions about yesterday's events in benghazi, libya and in cairo, egypt. >> mr. president, for the first time since 1979, a sitting ambassador, christopher stevens, plus three other americans were killed in the line of duty. we send more than a billion dollars a year to egypt, tens of millions to libya after its li
.s. ambassador to libya, the ambassador who was killed on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi two nights ago. christopher stevens was an arabic speaker, a longtime student of libya. he had lived in the country on and off for a long time. he understood the country well. in 2008 he wrote what in retrospect now seems to be an important and chilling memo about this particular place in libya. see, we'll show you. this is where libya is on the map of north africa. see libya sort of juts into the mediterranean at two different points, on the west side and on the east side. on the western side there, you see is tripoli. that is the capital of libya. but it is way over on the other peninsula on the right on the eastern part of the country where the city of benghazi is located. this place that christopher stevens, our ambassador who was just killed, the place he wrote about in 2008 in this cable that was uncovered by wikileaks, it's right there next to benghazi, the city of derna. in order to understand how it is we just had an ambassador murdered, it's worth knowing what the ambassador had to say
the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya, was under attack. searches for the british monitoring group called it a well-planned assault that occurred in two ways. the sources said the attack involved a group of about 20 militants and included heavy artillery, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades. by morning, it was confirmed that four american diplomats, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens, were killed in the attack. that makes stevens the first ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1988, when arnold raphael, the ambassador to pakistan, died alongside the president of pakistan in an unexplained plane crash. president obama addressed the nation from the white house rose garden this morning. about 50 u.s. marines were deployed to libya and two u.s. warships are headed towards the libyan coast. secretary of state hillary clinton addressed the sad irony of the attacks in the wake of the u.s. support of the libyan revolution. >> today many americans are asking, indeed, i asked myself, how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we hel
worlds. [ booi ] >> what really happened during the attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. john mccain lash out after the first time it was a terrorist attack. >> thought it was some kind of spontaneous demonstration, shows the level of their -- the abysmal level of their knowledge about fundamental aspects of terrorist attacks. >> and amy polar goes to washington. the "parks an recreation" star kicks off with real politics. >> are you okay? >> i would like you to leave and give me privacy here please. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in new york. our new nbc news battleground map has a key shift in a crucial state. iowa has moved from toss up to lean obama president. the current electoral math means president obama would have to carry only florida from the remaining battleground states and hold on to where he is ahead to win. joining me for our daily fix, "usa today" washington bureau chief susan page and nbc senior political editor mark murray. first to you on the new battleground states, let's take a look at the map and the significance of what the president has accomplishe
news. it's international. it's out of libya this evening in the city of benghazi. a mob descended on the u.s. consulate in benghazi today and set it on fire. witnesses say explosions were heard nearby and the men who attacked the american building were armed. there are conflicting reports about exactly how grave the attack was on the u.s. consulate. some are siting that a staffer, an american official was killed in the attack on the consulate. now while the state department has condemned the attack, officials are saying it's impossible to confirm the reporting about the potential death of a u.s. official in libya. at least at this time it is impossible to confirm it. nbc news is working to confirm that report. it's based on comments from a libyan official at this time. >>> also today in cairo, a group of protesters there breached the outer walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo. the embassy has been described as fortress-like. you can see that in some of the images. the protesters in cairo reportedly luted some of the buildings inside these outer walls after they breached the perimete
down the flag and didn't hurt anybody inside. in benghazi, the less like that it seems. it was a commando-style raid in benghazi where militants may have been angry about the same video but clearly moved in with a military style tactic. they had r the gs, heavy ma svein machine guns. it was two waves. that's not the spontaneous mob activity like we saw here in cairo. that's the kind of thing in benghazi carried out by a militant group, a terrorist group, by al qaeda potentially. and u.s. officials are looking in to that right now. also, wondering was it just a coincidence that the u.s. ambassador who's based in tripoli happened to be in benghazi at the very time of the attack? so, a lot of questions but it's clear now that these were two very different incidents. spontaneous uprising that resulted in no casualties here in cairo and a guerrilla assault in benghazi that killed the u.s. ambassador. >>> all right. here with us now is former u.s. ambassador mark ginsburg. mark, i want to start with the response yesterday from the u.s. embassy in cairo. what the statement the
in benghazi under way. sunday, libyan and u.s. officials had two very different versions of what happened. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned. >> what happened in ben gghazi s a reaction to what had transpired hours before in cairo. >> as you see, two different versions of what supposedly happened in benghazi. protests plead spread into the weekend, the romney campaign argued the crisis exposes a stark contrast between the two candidates. >> if we project weakness, they come. if we are strong, they are -- our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respect us. >> ambassador susan rice fired back yesterday on "meet the press." >> with respect to this i think, vacuous charge of weakness, we have des mated al qaeda. osama bin laden is dead. i spend every day up at the united nations where i have to interact with 192 other countries, i know how with the united states is viewed. >> but the white house is facing growing questions about whether violent protests mean the president's early outreach to the muslim world has p
about the security in benghazi? we know there were no marines in tripoli and certainly not in benghazi and questions were raised, here is victoria nuland former ambassador to nato and your former spokesman at the state department, she's had two of your jobs, i believe, in passing. this is her comment yesterday about embassy security. >> i think what we saw last week was that in some cases, we had governments that had a lot of will to protect us, but may have overestimated the capability of the forces that they had around and had to augment. >> there are questions about whether ambassador stevens had adequate security. we know from friends he did not like to be burdened with a lot of security. we're told he did have a diplomatic security resident officer with him. can you comment on what we need to do, you know, it's always the tension between becoming a fortress and not being engaged with the people we're supposed to be serving as diplomats? >> well job number one in any embassy or consulate is to protect your people. the state department is fund fundamentally dedicated to that. you kn
consulate in benghazi. the secretary of state began by offering these words of tribute. >> so we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and phase the future undaunted. and we will do it together, protecting and helping one another, just like sean, tyrone, glen, and chris always did. >> in addition to the presence of their families and the most senior members of government, this was also an opportunity for friends and colleagues to pay their respects. dozens of of state department workers boarded buses in washington to attend the ceremony. the president said those that gave their lives represented the very best of american leadership. >> the united states of america will never retreat from the world. we will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed. whatever their faith. that's the essence of american leadership. that's the spirit that sets us apart from other nations. this was their work in benghazi and this is the work we will carry out. >> but while americans mourn at home, the united states faces a growing crisis throughout m
security across the region. let's start with nbc foreign correspondent in benghazi, the most violent example the week. amin, about 50 are in custody about the attack on the consulate. many say it's not about the film. it's a smoke screen for attacks they were planned and not spontaneous. what are you hearing? >> it's important to put it in the proper perspective across the region. what happened in benghazi is different than in other places. according to libyan officials we've been speaking to and even by that assessment from u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice, the protests at the benghazi were sfont nus. it's what happened during the protests in terms of attack on the u.s. consulaequenculate tha difference of opinion. libyans think it was a preplanned attack. it was a group of people that came into the country in the wake of revolution and exploited the security vacuum in the country and planned to carry out an attack on the diplomatic facility. something that happened previously over the past several months on other targets. the rest of the muslim world if you experience it is a
of libya, there's a spontaneous demonstration tide where local benghazi with signs apologized. i think for so long, so -- so to have egypt to be a big question mark and to have him be missing in action when there's something to say for him to be considered an ally of the united states, he needs to come out and say something. >> jim frederick and richard wolf, thank you for joining me on this breaking news story. >>> coming up, rush limbaugh says that paul showing president obama in the lead are a conspiracy. i don't know how he's going to explain the latest fox news poll. and john mccain is in the rewrite tonight. in the united states senate today, he taught mitt romney a lesson. chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance. geico, see how much you could save. ♪ something to me ♪ that nobody else could do ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling, unsurpassed luxury and nearly 1,000 improvements. introducing the redesigned 2013 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exce
assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary libya, and they escalated into a much more violent episode. >> nbc is live for us in benghazi, libya. let's talk about the u.s. officials who are on the ground now. how many of the suspects are in custody and are there any leads on other suspects? >> alex, we had the chance yesterday to speak to libya's president, head of the general national council here. he told us he did agree with ambassador rice on one point. he believes this was a sinister, preplanned attack. this was the hallmark of foreign militants who had come into libya to exploit the security vacuum here and planned a very specific attack against the united
separately from any civilian protest. given the militant groups known to operate in the area of benghazi and the types of attacks for which those groups have claimed credit in the past, intelligence officials tell the "washington post" the fbi's tentative conclusion, their working hypothesis about what happened in libya is that that assault that killed our ambassador there, quote, was carried out by a group aligned with al qaeda. and that is in contrast to the angry mobs of irate civilians who are menacing u.s. embassies around the world ed up by reports of this crude anti-muslim video that turned up on youtube purporting to be a trailer for a longer anti-muslim film. the origins of murky, no one is claiming credit to the film. youtube restrict ed access to i in countries where anti-muslim speech is restricted and the u.s. continues to try to convince the world just because some wing nut in america made this offensive thing, that does not mean that the u.s. government has anything to do with it. nor does it mean that the government approves of it. nor does it mean that the government sho
developing news right now. we go benghazi, libya where the u.s. government is making a big push to investigate the killing of the u.s. annual bass door and three deaths there earlier this week. the libya president had will this to say when asked who was behind the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.o say d the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.say wh the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information. and on that information that we have, we will go after the perpetrators. >> ayman is on the phone with us. what else did the libya president have to say? >> reporter: well, really programs the most interesting information that came out about those perpetrators was that they are not all libyan and that certainly comes as a surprise. one of the things that he said was that the information the libyan authorities have is that in fact foreigners were involved in the planning and execution of this attack. and one of the reasons that comes as a huge surprise to many is that while the libyan government has struggled to establish law an
influence. >> what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spon tapeses you reaction to what transpired hours before in cairo. >> and on another front israel's prime minister warns the white house time is running out to deal with iran. >> six months away from being about 90% of having the enriched uranium for an atom bomb. i think you have toplati place red line before them now before it's too late. >> 50 days to go until election day and team romney is airing its dirty laundry. what does the campaign say about politico's exclusive reporting. the candidate is in los angeles today to address the hispanic chamber of commerce and sit down with telemundo while president obama arrived in cincinnati, his 12th visit to ohio. his home away interest home. >>> and live from new york, "snl" inaugurates a new president obama. ♪ i so in love with you >> that was fun, right? so, do you want that or this. ♪ eieio >>> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. with 50 days to go team obama is monitoring an explosive situation across the arab world, while the romney campaign is cop
, white house press secretary for jay carney for the first time called the benghazi attack a terrorist attack. secretary of state hillary clinton, i want to play sound from her today, what she had to say about the after-action report on benghazi and libya. let's play that and talk about it. >> i am launching an accountability review board that will be chaired by ambassador thomas pickering. >> just by way of context, thomas pickering, a former u.n. ambassador, former russia ambassador as well. jonathan, this in some ways is what's next here in libya, turned into a political football last week. there's clearly foreign policy implications in how we manage ourselves in this tumultuous time going on here. >> in these tumultuous times in these countries where in the arab spring they rose up and revolted. clearly it's been determined by the obama administration, very important to get to the bottom of what really happened in benghazi. as we know, three americans were killed including ambassador christopher stevens at the consulate in benghazi. so there are a lot of questions that have to be a
the white house is labeling what happened in benghazi an act of terrorism. secretary of state hillary clinton says the united states government has now opened a new inquiry into the attack, an attack libya insists was preplanned. president obama says it's still unclear whether al qaeda was involved. meanwhile, in benghazi, the late ambassador chris stevens and the three other americans killed were remembered at a memorial servi service. >>> well, it's the moment so many consumers have been waiting for, the iphone 5 finally debuts today. people have been lining up for days all over the world for the latest smartphone from apple. the very first of the new handsets was sold in australia to cheers. iphone 5 presales alone topped 2 million according to the company. let's take an early look at the markets as we get all up in your business this morning. cnbc's karen in new york. >> it's going to be getting to the front of the queue because the queues are long. as you mentioned australia, asia and europe is going to be selling the device in the united states later on today. but many people, i
. now members of congress from both parties are demanding answers. on the ground in benghazi, investigators can't even get to the scene. nbc's mike viqueira is joining us from the white house with more on this. mike, how big a deal is this reversal? >> reporter: well, it's very controversial and potentially a big deal. the question all along is ever since those september 11th attacks what caused them, what was the motivation for the people who killed four americans including the american ambassador. and at the beginning as everybody is well aware at this point, the white house insisted that these were spontaneous demonstrations, a reaction to that anti-islamic film, much like the demonstrations that had happened just hours earlier in cairo and subsequently swept through the muslim world from the middle east to indonesia. they denied that there was any terrorism link involved. from the beginning, republicans and other critics have questioned that. they said that the president and the administration have not wanted to admit a terror link in an election year around 9/11. they sa
. the powder keg is still conserving its powder, it seems. ironical ironically, benghazi remained pretty calm, perhaps the libyan government's quick crack down on perpetrators, a number have been arrested already. there's a man hunt going on if you believe what you hear from the libyan government. that's perhaps had an affect on tamping down the tension in benghazi. but the u.s. government's taking no chances. all u.s. diplomatic personnel evacuated to tripoli and only emergency staff being kept on at the embassy in the capital. as you mentioned in cairo, it's been another -- on the third day of protests -- another active day but not a lot of death -- no deaths spo-to-speak of. not too many people have been injured. so perhaps a second degree level of violence. overnight dramatic scenes near the u.s. embassy, which is about 500 yards behind me down the road next to the mosque, riot police charging forward, firing tear gas, trying in vain to disperse a crowd. this cat and mouse stand-off went on all day today. expecting to see it again later on. now the biggest concern, as you alluded to, is t
of four americans at the u.s. embassy in benghazi. the libyan city america helped free from the oppressive regime of moammar gadhafi. chris stevens was among the americans killed after protesters stormed the embassy last night. demonstrators also swarmed the u.s. embassy in cairo, scaling the walls and tearing apart the american flag. the attacks are believed to be in reaction to a obscure movie film in the u.s. by an israeli citizen one that ridicules islam and the prophet mohammed. today, flags at the capitol have been lowered to half mast and the president spoke earlier in the rose garden addressing the tragedy. >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. none. >> not content to sit on the sidelines at a critical moment in his presidential campaign, governor mitt romney plunged himself into the middle of this developin
:00, there are reports of shooting and smoke rising at the consulate in benghazi, 800 miles away. at 7:51 p.m., reuters reports at least one american was dead at our consulate in benghazi. we now know the romney campaign was discussing the events unfolding in the middle east throughout the day. as governor romney flew from nevada to florida, his top foreign policy and political advisers held a conference call to discuss what they would say about the crisis. well, when romney landed, they showed him a statement and he approved it. it said, i'm outraged by the attacks on american diplomatic missions in libya and egypt and by the death of an american consulate worker in benghazi. it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks. the campaign did exactly what mitt romney promised his high-dollar donors he would do in may. he attempted to capitalize on a foreign crisis. look at the statement again. "it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn att
attack in benghazi, on the diplomatic compound there. the white house has come out to affirm that this is a terrorist attack, correct? >> yeah. it absolutely is a terrorist attack. we know the organization, organizations involved. there was no doubt about the fact that the attack on the consulate was planned and organized in advance. it had all the earmarks of a preplanned assault. weapons like mortars used in conjunction with small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, launched in conjunction with one another, looked exactly like a preplanned attack. >> here's where we need to separate, though -- we talk about this movie that was made in america, you know, defaming the prophet mohammed. there were spontaneous reactions to that. the libyan situation with the death of the four americans is totally separate although it was compounded because of those things happening at the same time. >> i think the assault on the consulate and what took place in libya were the least of all the riots and conflagration that took place around the muslim world, the least associate
. >>> oversea, a surprising twist in libya. a crowd actually drove an is islamist militia out of benghazi in apparent show of anger over the murder of four americans and ambassador stevens. our reporter is following these developments, what happened here? >> reporter: let me set the stage for you. you have to go back a few months. before the revolution was a sense of lawlessness across libya. these militias that fought in the revolution carved out their own areas especially in benghazi. people in that part of the country were extremely worried these militias were becoming more powerful and dangerous and operating on their own with the attack of the ambassador and u.s. consulate was from the militias that became more brazen and show their force. that scared and angered people who wanted these militias part of a national party and police force. yesterday, a big rally was called for. a lot of these people came out to the streets, by some estimates as many as 10,000. they gathered on called on these militias to hand over their weapons and hand over the national army and police force. they wen
particularly in libya and egypt. he wrote what's happen inning cairo and benghazi is a case of political opportunism by salafist islamic extrooemists who are unhappy with the success that more moderate islamist and secular in egypt and libya have had in building political support. do you agree with that statement? >> absolutely. there's a lot of intraislamic competition like the muslim brotherhood trying to take leadership in the arab world and coming to the political rise in egypt and spreading. and also the more extremely actors who also have more space to operate in the post-arab spring world. there are other broader, strategic exploitations taking place in response to this video. egypt is a really good case study for that. just looking at how many different players are nervous about the transformation with egypt with much of the old guard retiring and now the islamists asserts themselves. you have christians very nervous about that. you have elements of the military not happy with the situation. here lies an opportunity to try to make the muslim brotherhood-led government appear more
if the deadly attack against the u.s. consulate in benghazi was a planned terror strike or a spontaneous backlash from the anti-islamic video posted on youtube. four americans were killed in the attack including 52-year-old ambassador chris stevens, widely regarded as one of the most popular and successful american envoys in the region. according to first reports from senior administration officials, the american consulate came under small-arms fire around 10:00 p.m. local time. a short time later, the outside walls of the lightly guarded compound were breached. gunmen began attacking the main building, setting it on fire. at this point three people remained inside the main consulate. ambassador stevens, another staff member named sean smith and a security officer. amid the chaos and heavy smoke, the three became separated. ambassador stevens was missing for 12 hours before his body was located on wednesday morning in a benghazi hospital. apparently transported there by libyan police. >> let's try to put this in perspective right now. a lot of people look at these images, if they're my a
on benghazi, libya, tuesday. ambassador chris stevens, former navy s.e.a.l.s chris woods and glen doherty were killed in that attack along with sean smith. not long after the attack reports surfaced that it might have been the premeditated work of a radical islamic group retaliating for an american drone strike which had killed an al qaeda command leader. libyan officials said they had taken four men into custody in connection with the attack. they also said they thought the attack was meant to drive a wedge between americans and libyans. this may be true. but even with all that has happened in libya, the bigger challenge for the obama administration may be with what's taking place in egypt. where even before the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya protestors stormed the embassy in cairo and tore down the american flag. egyptian president muhammad morsi did not issue a statement until 24 hours afterwards. although he condemned the attack, he condemned the anti-muslim film. he even asked president obama to, quote, put an end to such behavior. president morsi's initial failure to come out with
into last week's attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya that killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. >> the best information we have now, the facts we have now indicate this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy. the attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours. i said our embassy. our diplomatic post in benghazi. it evolved and escalated over several hours. it appears that individuals who were certainly well armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded that evening into the morning hours. >> well armed, opportunistic attack on the diplomatic post on 9/11. we'll continue to follow that hearing and bring you any important information that comes out of that. >>> new outrage in the muslim world today after a french magazine published cartoons ridiculing the prophet mohammed. security has been stepped up at the magazine's offices located in paris and french embassies and schools in a in many of countries as well. french leaders condemned the cartoons but the government defended the right of the magazine to publish them. mor
of u.n. ambassador susan rice because of her handling of the u.s. consulate attack in benghazi. u.s. intelligence is saying there is evidence that the attack was initially planned. initially, the administration had maintained they believed the attacks in libya were spontaneous reaction to the offensive video that rocked the middle east and beyond. could the direct sort of politicizing of the benghazi attack snowball into a full-blown october surprise for the president? what do you think? does the changing discourse about what happened in benghazi ultimately cause harm to the president? >> the thing about an october surprise is it usually has to reinforce some fundamental weakness or arguments from taking place with the president. if you think about the bin laden tape at the end of the 2004 campaign with bush and kerry, bush had been running on this fear and strength and all these issues getting the country animated on this. by the time the surprise happened, it reinforced what the people already believed. the thing that the president and this is why the bin laden assassination sor
." the more we're finding out about benghazi, the more it looks like a gross security failure. and you know, something the romney campaign told me, this is the biggest mistake we made on libya. if you give the media a chance to talk about politics or policy, they'll talk about politics every time. and we get out in front of it, so all everybody talked about those first few days was the politics of it. but the policy looks, willie, more and more like a gross security failure. you've got so many warnings coming in and so many warnings that were ignored. now the administration, the lead of "the new york times" saying that it may have been an al qaeda hit. but "the times" said there's no evidence on that. mitt romney, again, that's another -- it's a political blunder. and they've made too many of them. >> andrea, we had secretary of state hillary clinton herself yesterday saying we now believe there is an al qaeda link to the attack on the consulate in libya. >> in moments we were told by state department officials she didn't mean to say that, that that wasn't what she was saying. she was on a
of the militia groups the protesters drove from the base is blamed for the attack on benghazi that killed chris stevens and three other americans. the attack on the four americans was reported as part of a spontaneous mob reaction to a 14 minute anti-muslim trailer in youtu youtube. itis becoming increasingly clear the attack was premeditated, not an outburst of muslim rage. >> what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. >> meanwhile, in pakistan, the anger in the streets seems to be focused on the muslim video. 19 people died in violence on friday. the prime minister has asked the united nations to come up with a resolution banning hate speech across the word. >> when some people use this freedom of expression, this cannot be protected in such a way. not sure about that. the comment came the day the french published a cartoon lampooned the profit muhammad. >> i am guilty of this, i am not an expert in the muslim world at all. everything gets sort of bundled together. it's lik
of al qaeda. that's something we heard after the benghazi attack happened. where do you think we are now in terms of terrorism. obviously as the president said, the traditional al qaeda as we know it seems to have been decimated. top leaders including osama bin laden are gone but where are we? >> i think again that's a statement. the ail die is the al qaeda. there are mutant forms. there are a lot of wannabes and look-alikes. i think active terrorism in spite of the fact that the president rightly has given some credit for eliminated osama bin land, it's a misnomer and somewhat naive to say merely because you cut the head of the organization, now you have other groups affiliated, oftentimes rhetorically affiliated but others given guidance from others and the arabian peninsula. it ooh's dominant force in the region in cahoots from time to time with the iranian influence as well. we're going be dealing with activism terrorism, look-alikes and wannabes. >> i'm going to ask you to play chameleon again. this is a question people are thinking about. if you were a moderator at one of these deb
the streets of benghazi, 20,000 killed in syria. you've got israel, our closest ally in the middle east in open, basically verbal warfare between their leader and our leader. you can go around the entire region. it's mass chaos. troops getting gunned down by supposed allies every day in afghanistan. these aren't bumps in the road. this is an absolute mess. paul ryan's right, this does have the feel of tehran 1979. i'm not saying it's going to go that way, but you remember 1979 and the chaos that ensued. this isn't it. but this isn't a bump in the road. >> this is not 1979. >> so it's not -- paul ryan's not right. >> first of all, how do you know it's not 1979? >> you said it wasn't, and you said it wasn't. >> i said it probably isn't. if i'm president of the united states i don't do what jimmy carter says and call iran stability. the students were racing towards our -- >> isn't the larger issue rather than extracting what the president says during an interview and what the republican candidate's view on what he said, isn't the larger issue that both of these candidates have dismissed ab
about first of all what happened. the libya attacks in benghazi. there are suggestions that these were well-coordinated attacks as opposed that which first was reported that it was just a mob attack. what's the intel on that? >> it is -- it was hastily planned but it was planned, nonetheless. all the evidence points to that. small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, wielded by soldiers who were properly trained in what looked like a tactical attack. so it was planned. i think the consulate was a target of opportunity. there's no doubt about it. >> so was it well defended? >> well, it wasn't defended at all. which is -- and the state department has a great deal to answer for. there's no reason why, in a place like libya, that hasn't finished with a violent revolution, where a consulate that's relatively isolated should not be -- should not be defended at all. no, that's -- there's going to be an investigation. there's going to be a lot of finger pointing. but the state department has a lot to answer for in that regard. >> well, indeed, there's also a response that has
that event in benghazi? >> i appreciate the question, ann, because that assertion is both desperate and offensive. >> let me bring in the political panel today. thank you all for your time. jonathan, let me start off with you. obviously, you're a conservative republican here. do you find this line of attack, the bump in the roads, that mitt romney is trying to get some traction on desperate and orchsive as carney described it? >> certainly not. this isn't the first time we've seen obama do this. last year he was talking about the economy, and he said, well, americans have kind of gotten soft. this is something the president tries to do when there's bad things in his record that he tries to shove underneath the rug. really, really awful things happen in the middle east, terrible things happen at the libyan embassy and he's trying to minimize those. you can call him out on that. >> peter alexander pushed back on governor romney saying that the bump in the road or at least alluding to the fact it plays into the deaths of the americans and how the president processes. let me play this a
mohammed. on tuesday, a gunman joined the crowd outside the embassy in benghazi, libya. breechg the compound walls and killing christopher stevens, tyrone woods and glenn doherty and sean smith. president obama honored them on friday as he and we watched the flag draped coffins descend from a military plane. many of us, we are struck by this somber event and by the very images of american bodies shrouded in the flag. that image which for so long was censored until president obama lifted the 18-year ban in his first year in office. the policy was put into place by president george h.w. bush during the gulf war and was upheld by his son during the second gulf war in iraq serving only to obscure the true cost of war from so many american citizens. the president, alongside secretary of state hillary clinton, marked the contributions of our slain diplomats in maryland on friday. >> greater love hath no man than this. that a man lay down his life for his friends. the flag they serve under now carries them home. may god bless the memory of these men who laid down their lives for us all
killed in benghazi. ryan calling the white house's response quote slow and confused. >>> they first said that it was a youtube video and a spontaneous mob. we now know it was a planned terrorist attack. if this was one tragic incident, that would be a tragedy in and of itself. the problem is it's part of a bigger picture of the fact that the obama foreign policy is unraveling literally before our eyes on our tv screens. >>> this morning, the obama campaign defended its reaction to events in libbia the campaign's senior adviser said the white house was transparent in its response and dealt with new facts as they amerge. >> as the director of national intelligence said on friday, that was the original information that was given to us. what we don't need is a president or an administration that shoots first and asks questions later. at this point this is what we know and we are thoroughly investigating and that's what exactly what you should do. >>> new this hour, nbc news learned a short time ago that mitt romney is running through a full mock debate this afternoon at an event center in bo
that this is not first and foremost a political story, this is likely a story that happened in benghazi. certainly it isn't great for them, on the other hand, president obama does have a strong record on terrorism, one that the public has appreciated and has shown up in the polls for quite some time. i think it's hard to argue that a foreign policy event coming this late in the campaign is going to trump the white house. >> we want to go to some early voting nowing going with you and the dnc, kicked off their early voting bus tour in iowa. ohio residents, they can start early voting day after tomorrow in ohio. it seems like the democrats have an early ground game this morning. >> it seems that republicans on election day, it could be as much as 40% of the electorate that weighs in before actually election day. it's one of the interesting parts of this campaign is figuring out if it's going to change the message, if it's going to change the message of the campaign. it's going to be more states and more people than it has been, in both absen tent and voting than it has been -- >> i do want to take a look a
at the u.s. consulate in libya that killed four americans. >> reporter: since the benghazi traj tragedy, your opponent has attacked you as being weak on national defense and weak on foreign policy. he said you need to be more aggressive in iran, you haven't done enough to support the revolt in syria and that our friends don't know where we stand and our enemies think we're weak. >> well, let's see what i've done since i've came into office. i said i'd end the war in iraq. i did. i said that we'd go after al qaeda. they have been decimated in the fatah. that we'd go after bin laden. he's gone. so i've executed on my foreign policy, and it's one that the american people largely agree with. you know, if governor romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so. >> we're going to get to iran as well. the candidates were asked about that. but quickly, richard, on this question, explain the fine line the president is walking here, answering it. >> well, the president is out there defending his record. can i make a slightly related point on foreign policy? what's interes
when they said the administration lied about who was behind the attacks in benghazi, libya, senator john kerry called for rice to stay on. the republican party has severed ties with a virginia based consulting group it has paid $3 million to this year alone. the group is being investigated for voter fraud in nine counties in florida. right now, my story of the week. the republican bubble trap. if you follow politics, you've probably noticed that polling of the presidential election has swung quite decidedly in the president's favor over the last couple of weeks. the real clear politics polling average now has obama up 4.1 points over mitt romney in national poles. nate silver's prediction model put barack obama's odds of winning the election above 80% for the first time ever. swing state polling just this week seems to confirm the trend. a new quinnipiac "new york times" cbs poll shows surprisingly strong leads for the president. the galup tracking poll shows obama up six points. it's pretty hard to survey the polling data and not come to the conclusion that barack obama is beating
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